It's been said that every New York City conversation eventually turns to real estate, and this real estate opportunity might just start the conversation to drown out all the others. The New York Times reports that the Malkin family, who own the Empire State Building, will be creating a publicly traded real estate company. Meaning one day you could very indirectly own a piece of the Empire State Building. It's the most expensive lightning rod you'll ever buy.
The Malkins will have to get approval from principal partner, the estate of Leona Helmsley, and then permission from the 3,400 limited partners in the company that currently owns the building. Sources said that the new company would include other buildings, like 1 Grand Central and 250 West 57th Street. Michael Knott, a managing director of Green Street Advisors, said, “Investors the world over are clamoring to invest in Manhattan office properties, both debt and equity."
As with many publicly traded companies, minor stockholders probably won't get much say in what gets done with the building. We personally wouldn't invest unless it would guarantee that one day a year we could decide how the building is lit, like with black lights man! Or that we could attempt to scale it anytime we wanted.